A Washington state woman who insisted her husband had perished accidentally in a boating accident two years ago has been indicted on first-degree murder charges in connection to his death.
Laurcene “Lori” Isenberg, was arrested by authorities last week following a grand jury decision to indict the 66-year-old in the death of her husband, Larry Isenberg.
An autopsy conducted by the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s Office recently revealed a fatal amount of the antihistamine Benadryl in the elderly man’s system at the time of his death, the Associated Press reported. Authorities further allege in court documents that Lori had been actively plotting to stage her husband’s death.
The 68-year-old man vanished on Feb. 13, 2018 after falling off the couple’s boat in Lake Coeur d’Alene, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office. Lori initially claimed that the accidental plunge into the icy waters happened while Larry was inspecting a stalled motor, law enforcement said.
His body was recovered weeks later by sheriff’s deputies when a tipster phoned authorities to report seeing a corpse floating face down in the water.
Recounting the day of her husband’s death, Lori said that Larry had contracted the flu and was feeling under the weather — but wanted to take her on a boat ride to watch the sunrise. She claimed Larry stumbled and fell into the water after the boat’s engine began making unusual noises. Lori insisted she tried to save him but was unable to prevent him from falling off the boat.
“He stood up, looked at me with a confused look on his face and started to fall over,” Lori wrote in a 2018 email obtained by the Coeur d’Alene Press. “I jumped up and tried to get to him, but I tripped on the heater and banged my head and couldn’t reach him in time. It was so horrible!!”
She then said found her husband’s phone wedged between the windshield and the dash of the boat and dialed 911. The woman claimed to have sustained a bloody nose, bruising to her face, and suffered minor hypothermia in the incident.
“I cannot describe the pain I feel,” Lori said regarding the loss of her husband. “It is like half of me is gone. I am doing a little better every day. I lost 11 pounds because I just can’t eat and the only way I can sleep is with sleeping pills or else I have nightmares.”
Just days after the Idaho newspaper obtained the email, Lori was arrested by police on forgery and grand theft charges related to her former employer, North Idaho Housing Coalition, the outlet reported.
She pleaded guilty to several counts of wire fraud last year and was slapped with a five-year federal prison term for pilfering from the nonprofit, according to the Associated Press.
Detectives also learned that handwritten changes were made to Larry Isenberg’s will that would have left 80% of his estate to Lori’s daughters from a previous relationship, leaving his own two children only 20%. Four of Lori’s daughters also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud for accepting stolen cash from their mother.
Prosecutors’ charges against Lori list “poison, lying in wait or torture as potential factors” in Larry’s alleged slaying.
Isenberg is in custody at a Kootenai County Jail, the Spokesman-Review reported. She’s being held on a $2 million bond and it was not immediately clear if she had anyone who could comment on her behalf.
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